I found this bottle in California, which–as most fans of Bardolino know–is as rare as hen’s teeth. Can’t find too much info on it, but various verbiage on the label clearly indicate a negociant wine. I’m not going to hold that against it, as it is a bright, delicious wine nicely demonstrating classic hallmarks of the region.
Deep bricky garnet in the glass–transparent and amber-rimmed. Pretty nose of steely floral and ripe berry with possibly a touch of oak polishing the smoky texture. It LOOKS like Pinot, and smells a bit like Pinot, with clean barnyard and leathery funk buried at the core under slightly-flabby fruit tinted with green pepper and dull spice.
It looks–and tastes–considerably *older* than its labelled “3”. Blind, I’d probably add almost 10 to that. Thin and peppery on attack, the fruit a bitter, dark affair of pie-cherry and green raspberry. Tannin surfaces early, but the fruit maintains a focused even-keel throughout. Despite the 12-point-oh, it feels hot, contributing a bit of in-balance to overall mouthfeel. It lacks the Chinon- or Gamay-like vivaciousness I am used to in wines from the Bardolino Consorzio. Not a horrible wine, though oddities in expression pull it at garish angles in areas. Would be really fun to play *stump-the-band* with at a tasting!
2018 F & B ‘Castel Del Lago’ Bardolino DOC Verona Italy 12.0